Israel’s Defense Minister Yaov Gallant has issued an order for the complete closure of the Gaza Strip, including a ban on the entry of food, water, fuel or access to electricity as Israel intensifies its bombardment of the besieged Strip in the wake of the surprise attack by the Palestinian resistance. His comments have drawn criticism for advocating collective punishment of Gaza’s entire civilian Palestinian population in breach of international law.
Israel’s defense minister described Palestinians as “human animals” and vowed to “act accordingly,” as fighter jets unleashed a massive bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip.
Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza Strip, which has been under a blockade commanded by Israel since 2007. The Strip encompasses an area of approximately 365 square kilometers.
“I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” Gallant said.
“We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly,” he added.
According to the army’s report on Monday morning, the Israeli air force has dropped over 1,000 tonnes of bombs and 2,000 munitions to Gaza over the past twenty hours. During this time, twenty high-rise residential buildings, mosques, hospitals, banks, and other civilian infrastructure have been shelled.
At least 700 Palestinians, including 91 children, have been killed in the ongoing raids. An additional 2,700 individuals have sustained injuries.
As Palestinian armed groups continue to engage Israeli forces on Israeli soil, the bombardment occurs.
Since the unexpected Palestinian assault began on Saturday, over 2,000 Israelis have been injured and at least 800 have been killed.
The Gaza Strip
Gaza was part of historic Palestine prior to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
A catastrophe referred to as Al-Nakba or “The Catastrophe” displaced approximately 750,000 Palestinians from ancient Palestine.
A refugee population exceeding 60 percent resides in Gaza, Palestine, due to the forced displacement of families from other regions of the country in 1948.
The Gaza Strip, situated along the Mediterranean coast and bordered by Egypt and Israel, is among the most intensely populated regions globally.
Egypt annexed Gaza during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the territory remained under Egyptian control until the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, when it was occupied alongside the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel allegedly withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and transferred to the occupied West Bank approximately 8,000 Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers residing in twenty-one settlements surrounding Gaza.
However, Israel reacted to the election victory of the Hamas movement in Gaza in 2007 by establishing a land, sea, and aviation blockade of the Gaza Strip.
International law considers the blockade to be an occupation of the territory.
Four Israeli invasions of Gaza have occurred since 2008: in 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2021. These incursions have claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinians, the majority of whom were minors and civilians.
Destruction of homes and offices, damage to pipelines and sewage treatment infrastructure, contamination of potable water, and an increase in waterborne diseases were all consequences of the campaigns.
Thirteen Israelis and at least 260 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during the final major operation of 2021.
Israel’s blockade systematically denies Palestinians access to services, hospitals, banks and other vital infrastructure, leaving the population to exist in fraught living conditions.
The blockade has also resulted in a perennial shortage of clean water, electricity, and medical supplies in what is often dubbed the world’s largest open-air prison.
Around 97% of Gaza’s drinking water is contaminated, and residents are forced to live with constant power outages due to a power grid that has been heavily damaged in repeated Israeli attacks.
Meanwhile, close to 60% of Palestinians live in poverty, and youth unemployment sits at 63%.
According to UNRWA, the UN agency that cares for Palestinian refugees, years of conflict and blockade have left 80 percent of Gaza’s population dependent on international assistance.
If you would like to comment on this article or anything else you have seen on Carthage Magazine, leave a comment below or head over to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. You may also message us via this page.
And if you liked this article, sign up for the monthly features newsletter. A handpicked selection of stories from Carthage Magazine, delivered to your inbox.